Friday, June 28, 2013

Pasta...mushroom....yummy sauce

I was craving some yummy meals....they both required white wine.  I didn't have any.
I know, those of you that know me, are SHOCKED that I didn't have any white wine.
Now, lets be clear, I didn't say I didn't have wine, I said I didn't have WHITE wine. 

So, I had to forgo those meal ideas and make zucchini (fresh from the garden) with garlic, shrimp in a delish sauce, bread and orzo.
My oldest daughter cut up the zucchini, while the youngest one set the table.  Love the family working together.

So, the next day (after recreating my 4th of July blog that somehow disappeared) & a play date at the park with friends, we stopped at the store to get some WHITE wine & a few other accoutrements.

I made this delicious meal with pasta/mushrooms/parmesean cheese/white wine/cream & garlic (of course), marinated cucumber salad (fresh from the garden), and Parker House dinner rolls.
My oldest daughter had at least 4 helpings of the pasta (I will admit she only ate mushrooms on the first helping).  My middle daughter probably had 4 helpings of the bread....that girl loves bread.

cucumbers & tomatoes marinated with red wine vinegar, topped with fresh basil

My oldest daughter made brownies
She helps out in the kitchen alot, but I don't usually give her free reign.
This time I did, just to see what she could do

I won't tell you that she asked whether they should be cooked on top or inside.
I won't tell you she almost knocked over my cloches on top of my counter while trying to pump my olive oil sprayer.
I also won't tell you that she tried to put whipping cream on top of the brownies immediately after they came out of the oven.

I will tell you they were delicious & moist
She added whipping cream and blueberries and served them to her sisters after dinner

And that's it, neither dinner was too shabby, I would say.  
But, when a girl is craving a meal, she should get what she wants.
And she did, only a day later

I used egg noodles (half a box or so)
2 TBL butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
white wine
3/4 to 1 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp grated Parmesan
pkg of bella mushrooms (original
sea salt and black pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt and pasta and cook
Chop mushrooms and garlic (I kept mine whole and used my garlic press)
Melt butter with oil in a large pan, add garlic
Add mushrooms, salt and pepper
Cook for about 10 minutes
Add a splash of wine and simmer until evaporated
Add cream and Parmesan
Simmer until it has thickened
Add drained pasta to your sauce & Mix together
Serve with Parmesan on top

Here is the original recipe:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fourth of July Ideas


 It's that time to start thinking of 4th of July planning
Here are some things I have made in the past few years.
Some of these are favorites, but I want to make some new things this year.  
I've already started pinning them.
Strawberries dipped in white chocolate and blue sprinkles.  
These are a favorite for sure. 

Marshmallows rolled in chocolate and sprinkles
I added the sticks to make it more fun to eat, and less sticky

Pretzel rods dipped in white chocolate and sprinkles

Strawberries filled with whipped cream and blueberries
The whipped cream deflated a little bit, so it doesn't look as pretty as it did at first.
I put them in cupcake liners and placed in a cupcake stand so they would stand out
These were a big hit.

Beer bread and Tastefully simple dips

I made these paper cones out of scrapbook paper and filled them with colorful potato chips

I have a thing for pendant banners
I made this one of out scrapbook paper, cut into triangles and strung through ribbon

This decoration could either sit on the table or be hung from above.
I made this out of 3 different color tissue papers
(I plan on making a tutorial on how to make these)
This one isn't quite as full as the ones I made for my daughter's birthday party here  

Let me know in the comment section below some super yummy patriotic items you have made.

A few original ideas came from here:
strawberries & pretzels (I think):

Friday, June 21, 2013

The dynamics of siblings....

I love my 3 girls, and I can't imagine life without a single one.

(many more words apply, but you get the picture)

My oldest has been at "Aunt camp" all week.
It has made the dynamics around here much different.
There is no 3rd wheel.
There is noone left out.
There has been noone pitting anyone against the other.
There has been hardly any fighting and arguing.

There hasn't been any of this:

Now, with that said, is it my oldest who causes all the problems around here?

Heck no.....she is the actually calmest out of all 3 (well other than the intentional antagonizing she does with her sisters)

The two that are here are usually the one that fight, are sassy and way more, but not this week.

There has been more peace around here than I have seen in a long time.
Two just seems to flow much smoother.

So, with that said......any takers for rotating out my kids on a weekly basis?  That way there will always be two, and I won't terribly miss any of them for too long.  

Hahahahhaha, I'm kidding!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What to do and what not to do with birthday party invitations.....

I've been hosting birthday parties for 12 years now, and 2-3 times a year during some of those years.

I have never had a mom and her child show up at one of our parties---unannounced, i.e, no RSVP.

At our recent party, we had one mom show up that had not responded to coming, drop her daughter off with a kiss and leave.  My friend had the good sense to run after her to get her phone #.  Would you ever leave your child somewhere without a way for someone to get ahold of you?  
I know, I wouldn't.

   I had to run upstairs and quickly make up a goody bag.

Let it be known I am not a fan of goody bags.  My girls will act like they are, but weeks after birthday parties, their goody bags are in some corner of their room, unpacked.  Almost always!
   So, I know the smart thing to do is make extra just in case, but Again, I have never had someone show up unannounced.

15 minutes later, the doorbell rings and another mom, who also didn't RSVP, drops her daughter off, says she'll be back at 4:00 and THEN asks if she can also leave the little cousin.  I was slightly flabbergasted, and simply said "yes"  What would you have said?  And the cousin was little, like 3 or 4,  and was just dropped with a group of strangers.

    So, I then had to take a goody bag from one of our sweet 3 year old friends (whose mom was there and told me to)
AGAIN-I dislike goody bags.
    Of course the point here isn't goody bags, it is the concept of showing up to a birthday party unannounced.

But, I have digressed, the real point of this is the invitation.
This was the invite (with my address blurred out, and RSVP info -email, home phone # and cell # to call/text)


Don't put your address on it.  I never have in the past.  Why did I this year, I don't know.
But, it bit me in the butt.

This is the right way to make an invitation:
***see---no address :)

So, my advice, don't put your address on the invitation, that way unexpected visitors cannot show up.
Of course if it is at a public place, like a skating rink, or gymnastics, or paint ball,  you would have to.
But it was a little strange for me to have people show up at my house unannounced.

Happy Party Planning!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What to do with all that zucchini???

Here are some of my favorite zucchini recipes....

First up...Zucchini boats

We got our first, very large zucchini from our garden this year.
(If I was more on my game, I would have actually taken a picture of it)  
But, I didn't, so here it is cut in half.

I made zucchini boats out of it last night.

I first cut my large zucchini in half length wise.
I then scooped out all the pulp.

I used 1 1/2 zucchini's for 4 of us
One of my kiddoes was off to "Aunt camp"
There was even enough left over for 2 slices for me for lunch, (we have light eaters at our house)

This was the final, yummilicious zucchini boats.
They taste like pizza
Even my pickiest eater likes them


1/4 of a zucchini per person (or double that, my family are very light eaters)
1 TBL olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Parmesean cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
3 TBL chopped fresh basil
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350
Spray 13x9 inch pan with nonstick spray
Use a small spoon to scrape out the insides of each zucchini half - the pulp. Don't scrape the zucchini all the way to the skin- just make a deep pocket where you'll be able to put the stuffing. 
Save the pulp and chop it.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini pulp &garlic. 
Cook together 4 to 6 minutes.  Drain out excess moisture. 
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
In a small bowl, mix the cheeses together. 
Remove two tablespoons of the cheese and set aside. Add the rest of the cheese to the mixture, along with basil. Add salt and pepper, as desired.
***original recipe calls for adding marina sauce, but I haven't tried that yet**
Divide mixture between the hollowed out zucchini, filling and mounding into each one. 
Set the stuffed zucchini into the prepared pan and sprinkle the reserved cheese on top.
Bake 30 minutes, or until baked through and tender.

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Here are a few more pics I have made from zucchini:
       (you will have to post in the comments for the request of the recipe:)

Zucchini Canoes

Zucchini Crisps

Zucchini tots

What fabulous zucchini recipes do you have to share? 
Please post them in the comments.

I always want to give credit:  the original zucchini boats receipe came from here: